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Low Voltage Installation in Chicago

Arts Wired Electronics LLC, located at 4938 W. Belmont in Chicago’s Portage Park area, is an Audio and Video design company. Specializing in high end audio, custom fabrications, alarms, remote starters for cars and marine electronics. All services are covered by our mobile electronics division which will arrive on location to complete your low voltage installation. We also have a home and office division for commercial and residential installations voice and data installations. Working with many different types of low voltage electronics is normal for our electricians. Low voltage refers to devices that work with 120 volts and lower. Most work for the telecom sector of our business involves installing structured wiring for computer networks, troubleshooting network equipment and cable failure.

Recent Low Voltage Installation

A couple who recently purchased a home in the Chicagoland North Shore needed to extend internet and cable wiring to the attic and into the walls of the Master Bedroom of their frame house. The cable company was not able to install the wire in such a way that would look nice on the outside and provide a clean installation with the wires hidden between the walls on the inside. Typically, when retro fitting an older building with Cat5, Cat6, fiber optic wires, RG-6 coaxial or any other data wiring, the problem is getting the low voltage cabling through pre-existing walls with minimal damage to the walls, ceilings, and floors. We were able to complete the installation and make the couple very happy with the way their home looked.

Quality Installation Points to Consider

Installing cable through existing walls in a home or business takes time. Having a reputable company come out and install it correctly is important. Most home owners and apartment building management companies want the best bang for their buck when installing telecom and network wiring for voice and data. Pricing for these kinds of services can vary significantly. If the company you are hiring does not patch or repair walls, you will have the added expense of hiring a contractor to patch and repaint those walls once the wiring is installed.

For the above mentioned project, we needed to split the signal from the RG-6 coaxial cable drop. The “drop”, is a data cable that comes from the telephone poles and is anchored to the side of a building. The drop for an apartment or cndominium is usually protected in an IT closet or MPOE, the main point of entry where a technician can access this cable and tag it, showing what unit is getting service. For a home, the drop is made along the side of the home and easily accessible by anyone. The cable company usually sends a person who will be happy to drill a hole right through the side of your home into the room where the cable box or modem will be.

The cable modem was already installed in the first floor living room, where the cable company ran their wire under the area rug and behind the living room TV, our client wanted a clean hidden run and wanted internet and cable wiring to extend into the bedroom above and the attic above that bedroom. This typically would have been an easy job. We usually charge $125 for a drop like this and charge an additional fee for patching, painting, and materials such as the low voltage wall ring data, jack plate and Cat5 keystones.

First, we decided on our wiring route, then we cut a hole above the base board on the bedroom wall, the living room was right below us. This was going to be the spot for a 3 Port Data face plate. As we were opening this wall for internet and coaxial cable runs, we realized something was wrong with the layout. It turned out that the bedroom above the living room wall was offset about 1.5 feet. This would not be a straight shot into the living room wall, from the upstairs bedroom wall as expected. We cut a hole on the living room wall behind the TV to fish our cable from the basement through, we would use a two-port face plate for this connection behind the living room modem and router. We rerouted the original coaxial cable Comcast drilled through the side of the living room wall, remember the one that ran under the rug? We ran the cable through the basement and added a 2-way splitter to this line, we drilled a hole through the floor between the living room wall, later our connection of cat5 and RG-6 would be made here. Next, we went to the attic and drilled a hole in a soffit near the edge of the roof on the second floor. Through this hole I passed my associate a cat5 cable and RG6 Coaxial cable. The cat5 cable would get punched down and terminate, to one of the three keystone jacks that were being installed in the bedroom 3 port wall plate.

After bumping my head a few times, due to looking down making certain to step on the ceiling joist and not fall through the ceiling drywall. We pulled enough wire from the attic to get through the basement, and into the living room wall, where the cable box and modem/router were at. We ran the cat 5 and Coaxial under the floor boards of the living room, brought the cable up through a hole drilled through the living room floor and fed it into the wall. We really ended up having to start our wiring in the attic, we used quad shielded RG-6 and outdoor rated cat 5. We cut a hole above the baseboard of the bedroom wall, then another about 8 feet higher. The hole was big enough to fit a drill into it. A ¾” drill bit was used to drill a hole up through the attic ceiling in between the bedroom wall. From the attic, the cat5 line was dropped into the bedroom wall and punched down to a cat5 keystone and popped into one of three ports on the wall jack. We now had a solid cat 5 run from the living room, through the basement, up through the attic and down to the bedroom.

The attic also needed a coaxial connection for a cable box and ethernet connection for the internet. We put a 2-way coaxial cable splitter in the attic, and dropped a 15-foot coaxial cable, through the same hole that we dropped our solid run of cat 5 through for the bedroom wall. Now we terminated this coaxial cable with an F connector, we screwed this onto an F connector keystone coupler and popped it into one of the two remaining ports of the 3-port bedroom face plate. We made one more connection of cat 5 cable that connected to the last keystone jack for the three-port plate in the bedroom and connected the other side to the attic 2-port plate, we also connected an RG-6 cable to the splitter in the attic and to an F Connector keystone jack for the 2-port face plate in the attic.

After we made all our connections, we tested the internet and RG-6 runs with an internet cable testing tool. We now had the living room modem/router getting signal from the RG-6 port on the face plate. We used a patch cable to take the internet signal coming from one of the four LAN ports of the Router and connected that to the second port with the cat 5 keystone, this fed the internet signal back through the wire we ran in the basement crawl space, up the side of the house, tacked up nice and neat of course, up to the attack and into the 3-port face plate on the bedroom wall. We then used a patch cable to connect this live internet feed to a 4-port switch we put in the bedroom. Now we took internet from the switch and used a patch cable to feed internet back to one of the ports that was connected to the 2-port switch in the attic, giving the 2-port attic internet, lastly remember we had the RG-6 split in the attic to give data for the cable boxes one that would be connected to the bedroom face plate and one that would connect to the attic face plate.

We ended up patching the holes with a good coating of spackle, the customer may be had to put just a little more spackle after the first coat dried and do a light sanding with a 320-grit sanding block, roll on a little paint and the wall will look just fine. This is the breakdown of a typical internet and cable installation on a small 2 floor residential house with an attic and crawl space. Remember when asking for quotes be open to changes that may take place. There are sometimes unforeseen obstacles that will have to be overcome once an installation has started. Make sure to do your homework and get a couple of quotes, if you’re comfortable with the attitude and knowledge of your installer and they’re a trusted professional, you should be just fine.

Quality You Can Rely On

As you can see from the elaborate description above of just how we complete a project, we pay attention to every detail. It’s your home and you deserve to have it look as good as possible. We put the same care and attention to detail into every project we complete. From low voltage installation to marine electronics and everything we do in between you can count on the best quality installation services at the best price when you call upon Art’s Wired Electronics.

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